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NFL, union agree to preseason travel protocols

The NFL and NFL Players Association took a step Tuesday toward completing an agreement regarding safety protocols for training camp and preseason, reaching decisions on team travel, according to multiple reports.

The eight-page agreement, according to Pro Football Talk, includes protocols regarding air and bus travel, disinfecting hotel rooms and social distancing. Penalties are in place for those who purposely violate rules.

Facilities protocol during training camp also was updated, according to The Associated Press.

COVID-19 testing and preseason games are two issues that remain to be resolved.

The league last week cut the number of preseason games from four to two, but the union is asking to completely scrap the exhibition schedule. If the number remains at two, the Raiders would play at the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 21 and against the Arizona Cardinals on Aug. 27 at Allegiant Stadium.

Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter, the NFLPA president, wrote on the union’s website that “our main concern is player safety, both in regard to preventing the virus’ transmission as well as preventing injuries after an extended and historically unique layoff.”

Training camps are scheduled to open July 28. The Raiders are planning to hold camp at their Henderson practice facility, Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center.

“The NFLPA will do its part to advocate for player safety,” Tretter wrote. “We will continue to hold the NFL accountable and demand that the league use data, science and the recommendations of its own medical experts to make decisions. It has been clear for months that we need to find a way to fit football inside the world of coronavirus. Making decisions outside that lens is both dangerous and irresponsible.”

Also, NFL Media reported that the league proposed placing 35 percent of players’ salaries in escrow to help mitigate expected financial losses this season given the possibility some games could be canceled and most would be played in front of no or few fans.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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